Film & TV

Oscars 2020: Nominated Movies to Watch Before the Awards Show

From 'Parasite' and 'Little Women' to 'Hair Love' and 'Knives Out,' it was an exciting year for movies.
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The Oscars 2020 are this Sunday, so now is the time to rush to the theater (or to your favorite device) and watch all the nominated movies you may have missed. And while notable snubs, like Jennifer Lopez in Hustlers and the lack of women nominated for directing, signal that the Oscars still have a long way to go in terms of diversity and representation, the year was full of plenty of exciting achievements in film that you won't want to have missed when the awards finally happen. Like with the ceremony itself, you can catch many of these flicks on streaming platforms if you want to stay home, whether they're Netflix originals like Marriage Story and The Irishman or options you're willing to spend a few bucks to rent on Amazon or YouTube. Here are 20 Oscars 2020 nominated movies to watch before the ceremony on February 9—you'd better get planning as to how to check off all your favorites.

Parasite

All unemployed, Ki-taek and his family take a strange interest in the wealthy and alluring Park family and find themselves in an unexpected situation. Greed and class discrimination are major themes in this Oscars 2020 nominated movie, which has gotten an increasing amount of buzz as time has gone on.

Nominations:

  • Best Picture 
  • Best International Feature Film
  • Bong Joon Ho (Director)
  • Bong Joon-ho, Jin Won Han (Original Screenplay)
  • Jinmo Yang (Film Editing)
  • Lee Ha-Jun and Cho Won Woo, Han Ga Ram, and Cho Hee (Production Design)
The Irishman

In Martin Scorsese's latest Oscar-nominated movie, truck driver Frank Sheeran (Robert De Niro) meets Russell Bufalino (Joe Pesci) and is introduced to a life of crime. As Sheeran becomes a top hitman, he starts to work for Jimmy Hoffa (Al Pacino), a powerful man involved in organized crime.

Nominations:

  • Best Picture
  • Al Pacino (Supporting Actor)
  • Joe Pesci (Supporting Actor)
  • Martin Scorsese (Director)
  • Steven Zaillian (Adapted Screenplay)
  • Rodrigo Prieto (Cinematography)
  • Sandy Powell and Christopher Peterson (Costume Design)
  • Thelma Schoonmaker (Film Editing)
  • Bob Shaw and Regina Graves (Production Design)
  • Pablo Helman, Leandro Estebecorena, Nelson Sepulveda-Fauser, and Stephane Grabli (Visual Effects)
Little Women

Based on the novel of the same name by Louisa May Alcott, Saoirse Ronan, Florence Pugh, Emma Watson, and Eliza Scanlen star as the March sisters. In the years after the Civil War, Jo (Ronan) is a writer living in New York and her sister Amy (Pugh) studies painting in Paris. Amy has a random encounter with a childhood crush (Timothée Chalamet) who proposed to Jo but was rejected. Their oldest sibling, Meg (Watson), is married to a schoolteacher, while Beth (Scanlen) develops an illness that unites the family. While Greta Gerwig's directing snub will never be forgotten, this Oscars 2020 nominated movie has been getting some major acclaim for its modern reimagination of a classic story.

Nominations:

  • Best Picture
  • Saoirse Ronan (Lead Actress)
  • Florence Pugh (Supporting Actress)
  • Greta Gerwig (Adapted Screenplay)
  • Jacqueline Durran (Costume Design)
  • Alexandre Desplat (Original Score)
Marriage Story

In an Oscar-nominated movie you can catch on Netflix, a stage director (Adam Driver) and his actor wife (Scarlett Johansson) struggle through a tumultuous divorce that pushes them to to the edge.

Nominations:

  • Best Picture
  • Adam Driver (Lead Actor)
  • Scarlett Johansson (Lead Actress)
  • Laura Dern (Supporting Actress)
  • Noah Baumbach (Original Screenplay)
  • Randy Newman (Original Score)
Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker

When the rebels discover that Emperor Palpatine did not die at the hands of Darth Vader, they must go on a journey to find out where he is. Finn (John Boyega) and Poe (Oscar Isaac) lead the Resistance to stop the First Order's plans to form a new Empire. Meanwhile, Rey (Daisy Ridley) anticipates her inevitable confrontation with Kylo Ren (Adam Driver).

Nominations:

  • Visual Effects
  • Matthew Wood, David Acord (Sound Editing)
  • John Williams (Original Score)
Rocketman

In a true story about Elton John, Taron Egerton plays the iconic musician (he won a Golden Globe for his performance but sadly was snubbed when it came to the Oscars). Set to his most loved songs, this Oscars 2020 nominated movie is the grand musical story of Elton John, his breakthrough years in the 1970s, and his transformation into an international superstar.

Nomination:

  • Original Song
Ford v Ferrari

American automotive designer Carroll Shelby (Matt Damon) and British race car driver Ken Miles (Christian Bale) work together to build a vehicle for the Ford Motor Company. They plan to compete against the race cars of Enzo Ferrari at the 24 Hours of Le Mans in France in 1966.

Nomination:

  • Best Picture
  • Michael McCusker and Andrew Buckland (Film Editing)
  • Donald Sylvester (Sound Editing)
  • Paul Massey, David Giammarco and Steven A. Morrow (Sound Mixing)
Jojo Rabbit

This Oscars 2020 nominated movie is about Jojo, a German boy, who discovers that his mother is hiding a Jewish girl in their attic. Aided by his imaginary friend Hitler, Jojo must confront his blind nationalism as World War II continues on.

Nominations:

  • Best Picture
  • Scarlett Johansson (Supporting Actress)
  • Taika Waititi (Adapted Screenplay)
  • Mayes C. Rubeo (Costume Design)
  • Tom Eagles (Film Editing)
  • Ra Vincent and Nora Sopková (Production Design)
Joker

Arthur Fleck, a failed comedian, tries to navigate life in the streets of Gotham City. Bullied and ostracized from society, he begins his descent into madness as he transforms himself into the Joker.

Nominations:

  • Best Picture
  • Joaquin Phoenix (Lead Actor)
  • Todd Phillips (Director)
  • Todd Phillips, Scott Silver (Adapted Screenplay)
  • Lawrence Sher (Cinematography)
  • Mark Bridges (Costume Design)
  • Jeff Groth (Film Editing)
  • Nicki Ledermann and Kay Georgiou (Makeup and Hairstyling)
  • Hildur Guðnadóttir (Original Score)
  • Alan Robert Murray (Sound Editing)
  • Tom Ozanich, Dean Zupancic and Tod Maitland (Sound Mixing)
1917

During World War I, two British soldiers, Lance Cpl. Schofield (George MacKay) and Lance Cpl. Blake (Dean-Charles Chapman) must cross over into enemy territory to deliver a message that could potentially save 1,600 of their comrades, one of which includes Blake's brother.

Nominations:

  • Best Picture
  • Sam Mendes (Director)
  • Sam Mendes and Krysty Wilson-Cairns (Original Screenplay)
  • Roger Deakins (Cinematography)
  • Naomi Donne, Tristan Versluis, and Rebecca Cole (Makeup and Hairstyling)
  • Thomas Newman (Original Score)
  • Dennis Gassner and Lee Sandales (Production Design)
  • Oliver Tarney and Rachael Tate (Sound Editing)
  • Mark Taylor and Stuart Wilson (Sound Mixing)
  • Guillaume Rocheron, Greg Butler, and Dominic Tuohy (Visual Effects)
Once Upon A Time In Hollywood

Do you really have a full list of Oscar-nominated movies without something that examines Hollywood itself? A struggling actor, Rick Dalton (Leonardo DiCaprio), finds that he's becoming obscure in Hollywood. He spends the majority of his time hanging out with his friend and longtime stunt double, Cliff Booth (Brad Pitt). Rick also happens to live next door to Roman Polanski and Sharon Tate (Margot Robbie). Chaos ensues when the Manson Family make themselves known.

Nominations:

  • Best Picture
  • Leonardo DiCaprio (Lead Actor)
  • Brad Pitt (Supporting Actor)
  • Quentin Tarantino (Director and Original Screenplay)
  • Robert Richardson (Cinematography)
  • Arianne Phillips (Costume Design)
  • Barbara Ling and Nancy Haigh (Production Design)
  • Wylie Stateman (Sound Editing)
  • Michael Minkler, Christian P. Minkler, and Mark Ulano (Sound Mixing)
Pain and Glory

In this Spanish, Oscars 2020 nominated movie, a film director reflects on his life as he comes face to face with his past and present.

Nominations:

  • Best International Feature Film
  • Antonio Banderas (Lead Actor)
The Two Popes

At the Vatican, the conservative Pope Benedict (Anthony Hopkins) and the future liberal Pope Francis (Jonathan Pryce) must find common ground to provide what's best for the Catholic Church.

Nominations:

  • Jonathan Pryce (Lead Actor)
  • Anthony Hopkins (Supporting Actor)
  • Anthony McCarten (Adapted Screenplay)
Harriet

Cynthia Erivo plays American hero and abolitionist Harriet Tubman in this Oscar-nominated biopic. It chronicles her escape from slavery and the Underground Railroad.

Nomination:

  • Cynthia Erivo (Lead Actress)
  • Original Song
Bombshell

When Gretchen Carlson (Nicole Kidman) accuses Fox News founder Roger Ailes with sexual harassment, this decision leads to Fox News correspondent Megyn Kelly (Charlize Theron) and multiple other women coming forward with their own stories. This incites a movement that shakes the world, just before women in Hollywood and beyond begin speaking out against misconduct in their own industries.

Nominations:

  • Charlize Theron (Lead Actress)
  • Margot Robbie (Supporting Actress)
  • Kazu Hiro, Anne Morgan, and Vivian Baker (Makeup and Hairstyling)
Judy

Renee Zellweger plays Judy Garland in this Oscars 2020 nominated biopic. Thirty years after starring in The Wizard of Oz, Garland arrives in London to perform shows at the Talk of the Town nightclub. While there, she begins a romance with musician Mickey Deans, her soon-to-be fifth husband.

Nomination:

  • Renee Zellweger (Lead Actress)
  • Jeremy Woodhead (Makeup and Hairstyling)
A Beautiful Day in the Neighborhood

In this Oscars 2020 nominated movie, Tom Hanks plays the beloved Fred Rogers, aka Mr. Rogers. Lloyd Vogel is an investigative journalist who receives an assignment to profile him. Roger's compassion and kindness shift Vogel's pessimistic outlook on life, forcing the reporter to reconcile with his own past.

Nomination:

  • Tom Hanks (Supporting Actor)
Richard Jewell

During the 1996 Summer Olympics in Atlanta, security guard Richard Jewell discovers a backpack under a bench in Centennial Park that contains a bomb. He helps to evacuate the area until the bag explodes. Though hailed as a lifesaver, Jewell's life starts to unravel when the FBI names him the prime suspect in the bombing.

Nomination:

  • Kathy Bates (Supporting Actress)
Knives Out

When crime novelist Harlan Thrombey dies after his 85th birthday, Detective Benoit Blanc (Daniel Craig) arrives at his mansion to investigate. From Harlan's family to his staff, Blanc moves through a bunch of red herrings and lies to uncover the truth behind Thrombey's untimely death. Though a lot of elements of this film ultimately missed out on a nomination, this Oscars 2020 nominated movie has been a crowd-pleaser in theaters.

Nomination:

  • Rian Johnson (Original Screenplay)
Hair Love

Zuri's hair has a mind of its own. Her mother always does her hair just the way she likes it, so when her father steps in to style it for a special occasion, he has a lot to learn. Sweet and empowering, Hair Love is an ode to loving your natural hair and a celebration of fathers, daughters, and Blackness.

Nomination:

  • Animated Short

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